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WMG / Neon Genesis Evangelion Instrumentality

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What Instrumentality's purpose is
You just happen to find three ancient artifacts called Adam, Lilith, and the Lance of Longinus, and these happens to be the three most powerful artifacts in the universe. They are originally separated, but when merged together, they form the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, essentially God and the source of all life. The Tree of Life is then merged with a clone of God named Rei Ayanami, and everybody turns into Tang. However, what does exactly happen to the human souls during Instrumentality? What is it's purpose?
  • Anno got addicted to too much H.R. Giger, and Adam and Lilith are what happen if the First Ancestral Race reproduce. Humanity is a stage in a life cycle of Gods. The mighty Angels are sperm, the Lance of Longinus (which can and will penetrate all types of AT Fields with impunity) is a penis (with an instinct of its own), Lilith or Eva-01 is an Ova, Humans are the rest of the biomass that represent the First Ancestral feminine component (who turned out to be anti-Angel contraceptives, too much feminist symbolism, with how in Judaic lore Lilith was the first feminist), Instrumentality is Conception, LCL is amniotic fluid, Giant Naked Rei is the gestated God-foetus Star-child, Shinji rejecting Instrumentality and killing GNR is an Abortion (with Asuka to provide additional feminist symbolism).
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  • The First Ancestral Race, aka God Himself, put Adam and Lilith For The Lulz, with them as All Powerful Bystanders. There was no meaning in all those Christian symbolism preached by SEELE who were just mad cultists. This may also coincide with Deism, where God doesn't care what we puny humans do, which also complements Evangelion's philosophy of Existentialism where, ultimately, God does not care about what you do, and so it is up to you to decide how to live your own individual life. "Anywhere can be paradise as long as you have the will to live" and all that.
  • This troper heard of SEELE uniting all humanity in death. That makes Instrumentality a Euthanasia program turned into a Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum.
    • Yes, but if SEELE wants to euthanize humanity, why would they go to great lengths and summon God instead of creating a virus?
      • Maybe, SEELE already knew that the humans will remain ignorant and will have a fear of death, so if they create a pandemic, the world's scientists will just try to find a cure. That would make the euthanasia program a bitter failure. Other methods of Destroying The World, such as asteroids or Global Warming, will also fail because of the world's scientists continually finding solutions. All souls are also stuck in a cycle of reincarnation and evolution, and hence conventional Euthanasia is insufficient. People who commit suicide do not escape Reincarnation, because that act is very much a self-affirming defiance against their horrible lives, and hence suicidals still possess AT Fields. By using God, SEELE can annihilate that very fundamental "Selfish Gene" that powers AT Fields and hence all life and suffering on Earth, allowing all souls to escape the Hell of Reincarnation and accept the Final Afterlife that God created for them, the Universal Reconciliation of Instrumentality. Unfortunately, they didn't realize the meaning of the title Neon Genesis Evangelion: Gospel of the New Beginning, loosely translated, the Story of Rebirth.
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  • The Instrumentality Project was a plan by SEELE to euthanize all humans, yet somehow, preserve their minds into a God who would serve as the symbol of Mankind's legacy. The symbol becomes Yui Ikari, doomed to drift forever in space.
  • This troper found a clue: the Human Instrumentality Project was a direct reference to the Instrumentality of Mankind, a possible future created by Cordwainer Smith. In Cordwainer Smith's Instrumentality, everyone has his responsibilities, but if a person committed wrong, it was different. For example, any Lord can put any Lord to death, but the Lord who put his fellow Lord to death was also put to death. While the Instrumentality government acts on "an eye for an eye" ideology, the lower classes were imposed with a fixed lifespan of four hundred years. The Human Instrumentality Project, therefore, was a plan to restore the "eye for an eye" ideology by dissolving the AT Field, and with it, morality.
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  • Or the Instrumentality was a situation very similar to that of The Matrix. Humanity was forced to live on an interactive world they can actually warp, while being oblivious to the fact that they live in a Crapsack World. Shinji, for rejecting Instrumentality, has a status of a Red Pill.
  • Maybe the Instrumentality was actually a situation where humans were given a chance to be Anonymous. Remember that the AT field is actually the definition of a person's identity. If that is the case, then dissolving the AT Field will mean stripping off everybody's name and labeling it "Anonymous", causing humanity to become Legion, united as one, divided by zero. Some of Anonymous' quotes are "We are everyone and we are no one" and "United as one, divided by zero". The Instrumentality is specifically described by Rei in End of Evangelion as "a place where you exist everywhere, yet you are nowhere, all at once" and "a world where we are all one". Coincidence?
    • If SEELE is Anonymous, then there is this Really crazy WMG here related to Four Chan and Scientology:
      • Gendo Ikari is future moot then, after being corrupted by /b/ and developing a severe case of Galatea syndrome for Rei Ayanami. This leads to an alternate timeline where TEH REI was a more lasting meme than she was in our world, leading to moot turning into a misaimed fan of SEELE's goals after becoming like Anonymous and then watching Evangelion, followed by the events of Evangelion happening due to Anonymous interference and then sending back records as the Evangelion we know, creating a Stable Time Loop when Rei becomes a Memetic Sex Goddess.
      • Adding to that, Project Chanology and its aftermath introduced moot to Scientology, which inspired him to cause the outlawing of psychology post-Second Impact through his Ancient Conspiracy world control, allowing all of humanity to go mad enough that they might accept this crazy Instrumentality thing. This backfired when one of the most disturbed people on Earth (who was purposefully broken as part of the grand master plan!) was given control of the process, and he turned out to be analogous to So Bad, It's Good: Shinji turned out so crazy by the end that he had a moment of powerful sanity, and in that very moment he rejected Instrumentality. Future moot's plan to make Teh Rei a Memetic Sex Goddess and break Shinji into a justifiably emo warrior with an occasional berserker rage turned out too successful, to the ruin of the plan, all because a bunch of Internet users protested Scientology.
      • The events of NGE was the possible result of the actions of both Scientology and Anon, as a response to the discovery of the AT Field and Adam. In this timeline, after the popularity of TEH REI, everybody discovered that AT Fields are real, as well as the existence of the aliens (Christians and cargo cultists often called them Angels and the name stuck), but the factions who most exploited it were Scientology, which used the AT Field technology (and their abundance of money) to design "alien weapons", and Anon, who used the AT Field tech for Mind Uploading, "ghost hacking" and doing all kinds of cyberpunk Matrix shit (hence Naoko's development of the MAGI supercomputers with herself as software, and the Synchronization technology behind Evangelions) while trolling government organizations in Real Life (such as the Japanese Government, the USA and the United Nations). When the UN decided to meddle, they accidentally activated Adam while the Angels invaded, causing Second Impact, and Scientology used this as propaganda aka an invasion of "Xenu", as well as using their lawyers, allowing them to merge with Judaism and Christianity as a One World Religion and take control of the world for a while, changing the date to 2000 (when in fact it was the distant future, see also 1984) and outlawing psychology, hence why There Are No Therapists. Christianity still looks like the dominant religion, hence the title Neon Genesis Evangelion, but the organizations are under control of Judaeo-Gnostic-Scientological Illuminati cults such as SEELE.

        The world fell into grim darkness, despair and anti-lulz, yet Anon still survived, and discovered if the AT Fields of all people are removed, they can bring the power and lulz of a united Anonymous back to the world. The most effective way to corrupt and dissolve someone's AT Field? Perverse Sexual Lust, or as we say it, breaking the fourth wall and oneself's AT Field for promise of unconditional love. For example, Religions such as the cult of Love of Jesus Christ. People let themselves be killed for the sake of Jesus' Love. It alone cannot destroy the AT Field, but when combined with Memetic Mutation, or as we say it, The Virus, and psychically projected all over the world, it will be turned Up to Eleven and break down the person's ego like a corrupting virus, preparing them for assimilation by the super-Internet Technological Singularity a.k.a. "The Wired" (Serial Experiments Lain, with Lain as a failed prototype-Rei and instead erased herself from existence). Once everybody's Collective Unconscious is assimilated by the Wired, they can exist as a united collective anonymous Integrated Data Thought Entity and manifest Meme-Gods such as Lain and Rei, and warp physics like the Angels. They start Instrumentality from Japan and chose TEH REI as the meme, because of the Japanese's desperate amounts of Galatea syndrome which mutated into the Moe Archetype (a relic of their extinct Yamato Nadeshiko archetype). Anon transformed moot into Gendo Ikari using plastic surgery, and worked out to transform TEH REI from an old meme into an actual Artificial Moe-ssiah.

        By creating IRL Rei Ayanami, and psychically seeding her all over the world using a cyborg dubbed "Eva" to infect everybody with memetic Galatea syndrome, Instrumentality happened and everyone became Anons united with the Wired Data Overmind, but it went wrong when the Eva's original pilot, Shinji Ikari, was so emo and anti-lulz in his Despair Event Horizon that he decided to ditch everything and become The Immortal God-Emperor of Emo-kind who shall henceforth be known as Xenu. As a result, Rei Ayanami malfunctioned leading to her death.

        Xenu-Shinji, a sort-of Demiurge figure driven to insanity by his childhood traumas into a power-hungry combination of Yahweh, Adolf Hitler (The Original Emo Kid), Big Brother, and Asuka on a perpetual PMS, then stole some of Anon Data Overmind's God Powers, and turned the universe into a Dystopian Hell (a twisted caricature of Shinji's miserable life) with himself as Supreme Evil Overlord God. He sent several races of aliens (including but not limited to: humanoid aliens with wings, an underwater civilization of crystal spires and togas, a race of magical Moe Ponies prone to Cutie Mark Failure Insanity Syndrome, and a race of Magical Girls from another Earth who mutate into Angel-like reality-warpers that generate limitless entropy-defying energy once they suffer Absolute Despair) who dared to commit Thought Crime (including but not limited to: insulting Shinji, or simple optimism, or not being emo enough) to a concentration camp planet called Teegeeack where their bodies were converted into Tang, and their Souls (Thetans) were then Mind Raped by Shinji's Freudian Psychoanalysis and imprisoned alive into Philosopher's Stones (Angel Cores and S2 Engines) so that the Despair generated by their eternal torture will provide eternal energy to defy the Laws of Equivalent Exchange (again, like Puella Magi Madoka Magica), all part of Shinji's twisted Galatea Syndrome to create a Moe waifu goddess as immortal as he is (reconstructing Rei but under his control instead of Anon's) yet also perpetually miserable to suffer with him forever.

        The Anon Data Overmind, in vendetta (and For the Evulz) waged war and encouraged Rebellion against Shinji's oppressive Legions of Absolute Despair, hence why Anon resents Emos. It was a long, bloody and epic Ragnarok of galactic proportions (the Scientologists didn't call it a "Space Opera" for nothing, and it was a case of Black-and-Grey Morality with Anon as Grey and Shinji as Emo Darker Than Black. Anon may be jerkasses, but they're jerks who fight for freedom, in contrast to the Celestial North Korea that Shinji created.) Eventually, Anon emerged in Pyrrhic Victory when they 1337 H4X0R3D Shinji's precious Waifu Project, stole the central prototype-Moe software leaving only the Adam component (which explains Kaworu's homosexuality for Shinji), implanted that Moe software (who would become Rei Ayanami) into Lilith, infected Lilith with nanoviruses and crashed it back onto Teegeeack, starting the cycle of TEH REI, The Wired, Instrumentality and Lulz once again. Xenu descended to the Tang that used to be the millions of aliens he murdered, and planted his thetan into the very genetic ancestry of moot aka Gendo Ikari, to curse Anon's primary agent of being the father of Xenu himself. Fast forward billons of years later on Teegeeack, the Tang reform themselves into organic life, humans discover Adam, TEH REI becomes popular, and Shinji suffers a horrible childhood to awaken his identity as Xenu... Let's just say "We have entered an Endless Recursion Of Time".
      • The concept of moot being Gendo Ikari and the concept of Xenu being both the First Ancestral Race and Shinji Ikari, and Teegeeack being cursed to repeat the curse of Evangelion once again for eternity is kinda interesting, but it makes more sense if Seele, with their obsession with alien precursors, were the Scientology guys while Gendo, being the Uber-Pimp that he is, worked separately for Anonymous and against the scientology guys, leading to him and Teh Rei haxoring the entire Instrumentality plan and putting the Instrumentality less in favour of a crap imitation of psychoanalysis and more in favour of trolling us otakus for teh lulz.
  • Remember the part where Rei takes the form of people's desires? There is a clue that Instrumentality was intended to make all humans Voluntary Shapeshifters.
    • Then our true form is Tang that can change into Reis?
      • That means Shinji becomes the ancestor to a race of shapeshifters. When he rejected instrumentality and chose to live in reality, he became a shapeshifter, which will eventually become the First Ancestral Race. It is also plausible that Adam and Lilith were also shapeshifters, considering the Precursors / Shinji were shapeshifters, but was trapped in form due to the Lance of Longinus, which may have originated from Eva-01 (In the series Lilith was trapped in injured form when pierced by the Lance, but after the Lance was removed, Lilith came back to her true form, a formless humanoid mass, then later changed into a Giant Naked Rei, then the Teh Rei meme, and considering the Lance's spiral resemblance to DNA, it can apply as the same to us, but with DNA molecules).
  • Easy: SEELE wanted to turn humanity into the perfect, godlike being that takes the form of Rei and Kaworu in The End of Evangelion. No more individuality, with all the problems that come with it, and no more need for earthly resources: we would all live in paradise as part of one perfect, penultimate being. SEELE themselves express that things are going exactly as they want for the bulk of Instrumentality, up until Shinji rejects it and God-Rei sacrifices herself.
  • SEELE are eschatological nut-jobs with a messiah complex. They believe in the ideal of Universal Reconciliation-the message of being one with God meant obliterating independence. There are many religious nut-jobs who want the end of the world/the rapture, with their motive being a mix of "get this sinful Earth over with" and "I want Heaven on Earth now." They chose the year 2000 for their initial apocalypse because millennial events are typical predicted times of the apocalypse. Unlike most of these religious groups preaching about how we're the last of the generation, SEELE has the power to initiate Revelations. They think the Angels are martyrs setting up the apocalypse. Adam and Lilith are considered to be God by them, with Rei and Kaworu as sexy anime Jesus and bishie genderbent Mary Magdelene. From their perspective, all were tanged into Salvation by Giant Naked Jesus.
  • The navel-gazing is just posturing, hollow justification and self-delusion. SEELE has no intention for "the greater good" or "improvement." They don't believe they are ending pain. SEELE simply wants to dominate. Ala [[1984 Ingsoc]], SEELE does not think dominating the political world is enough-they want to dominate and control mankind's very thoughts. Identity, thought-they allow rebellion, they allow thoughts over than SEELE. SEELE are so dedicated and joyous to the idea of controlling mankind's emotions, thoughts and minds forever and ever that they'll destroy even their own indepedent thoughts just for the knowledge that they enslaved human destiny, just for the knowledge that they will always rule mankind in at least some form, even if it means a posthumous despotism. For comparison to this kind of logic, think about Davros' virus speech: even if the ends completely destroy the world they wish to dominate, it doesn't matter because since they caused it. To the monster that is both Davros and the core of SEELE, that is true power. In a sense of massive irony, the supposedly most ambiguous group of characters in Neon Genesis Evangelion have the simplest and most petty motivation of them all: being omnicidal despots who simply want the power-thrill from being God of our future.

During his brief period as "God" during the Instrumentality, Shinji created a large or infinite number of Alternate Universes.
This is the central premise of a certain popular Doujinshi, and accounts for Evangelion's numerous Elseworlds such as Angelic Days, the Shinji Ikari Raising Project, the manga, and the Super Robot Wars Alpha and Super Robot Wars MX games. These alternate continuities are almost universally Lighter and Softer, or at least cast Shinji in a better light: this is a result of Shinji's desire to avoid this whole mess or make himself feel better.
  • That would also explain Neon Genesis Evangelion: Campus Apocalypse...
  • It also accounts for several apparently mutually exclusive WMG theories involving Instrumentality, and may mean that Shinji is yet another face of Haruhi Suzumiya — or, perhaps more likely, if you follow the first theory on the ''Haruhi Suzumiya' page, Kyon.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX is one of them but the least stable'', which is why his counterparts' two female supporting characters are still named Rei and Asuka and why the Big Bad is still trying to initiate Instrumentality.
  • So all the Evangelion fanfic was actually created by Shinji trying to make a better universe?

Bookend-Reis = "God" = Instrumentality Reis
For this, we need to assume two things: First, "God" is the alpha and omega. That's the reason for why Rei appears at the beginning at the end. Rei in herself isn't God, but during Eo E gains the divine powers via the Lilith/Adam-fusion to make Shinji's (and NOT Gendo's) wish come true (a world without people to hurt him and his beloved. There have been speculations about that last Asuka actually being a Asuka/Rei/Misato mix). During that time, a number of Reis harvested the souls of people. They could transform into their beloved (most likely a reference to near-dead-experiences which speak of a light and a pure feeling of love), but most of the time we see Reis in their school uniforms - the same Shinji sees in the beginning in the end. Also, there was "one Rei for everyone" (that sounds so weird), even in a view of a floor full of dead and now Tang'd people ther's one Rei standing beside every puddle. I think this could be a reference to another belief, that God is "too big to fit into one religion" and that he/she/it is within all of us. So maybe Shinji was twice able to see "his" God. Because he's the chosen one or something.

The Dead Sea Scrolls are really the lyrics to "Imagine" by John Lennon.
Expelling everything separating people for a perfect, unified peace is what "Imagine" is trying to say. Take it literally and way too far and that's essentially Instrumentality in a nutshell.

What Squidward experienced in the episode of Spongebob Squarepants "SB-129" was instrumentality
The time machine somehow initiated human instrumentality and all souls united within the time machine, however Squidward rejected instrumentality.

The reason why Seele wanted to get rid of those Angels is because the Angels are going to fuck up Instrumentality in a non-lethal fashion. In other words, the Angels are actually going to prevent the Apocalypse
Well this speculation came into this troper's head when the so-called Assimilation Plot perpetrated by Seele turns out to be nothing more than a Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum on drugs. Let's see what the Canon said: 1) If an Angel combines with Adam, everyone dies. 2) If Adam merges with Lilith, supposedly, a god is created. 3) At The End of Evangelion, everybody still dies. What? Also, if the Angels are after Adam, why are they horny for Lilith instead of the real Adams, Gendo, Kaworu, Evas 00/02 and possibly Antarctica? We might as well argue that Seele's entire myth of "the angels desperate to merge with Adam" might as well be that, a myth.

Also, all those ramblings about the Angels trying to understand humanity. Armisael, who complains on how Angels had to live massively lonely lives wandering the stars forever, and Kaworu, who appreciates Human art and culture despite being not Human, are pretty much lampshades on the Angels' plot of not trying to wipe out humanity, but actually trying to become humans.

So, where are we left? We can also say that whether it's Adam or Lilith, both end up in a Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum. But, if Seele is just obsessed with a Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum, why not do it with letting the supposedly "Omnicidal Maniac" angels let it do the majority of the fuckup for them? Why not simply tie up Eva-01 with the Hand of Gendo and a Lance of Longinus up on the Empire State Building and let the angels take care of the business? Or even better, why need Evas at all? Why be such douchebags who screwed-up the mental and emotional life of innocent 14-year-olds? They can just fuse Adam and Lilith, create a god, and pretty much use the god's "omnipotent powers" to Deus ex Machina the angels out of existence.

Well, besides the fact that if a god was created on the first try and then used against the Angels the plot would end up as either a boring God-Mode Sue or a Space Runaway Ideon ripoff if the Angels are at least a challenge with truly Lovecraftian superpowers, we might as well assume that the Angels are going to fuck up Instrumentality so badly it instead prevents Instrumentality and leads to the Angels becoming Kaworu-esque humans. Seele, being the douchebags that they are, instead inverted the whole fact and said that "the Angels are going to annihilate us and the only pathway for humanity's survival is for us to strike first". It can be asked, why go to such lengths? There are like a hundred ways for the destruction of humanity, right? Answer: Human Nature. Sure, Seele might be Omnicidal Maniac Nietzsche Wannabes, but when there's an Omnicidal Maniac there's going to be a bunch of heroes going to stop him in their will to survive. And no matter how convincing an Omnicidal Maniac's Motive Rant may be, the majority will always be in the support of the heroes who "save the day". Asteroid Impact? No problem, we'll just blow it up. The Virus? We'll cure it. Nuclear bombs? Zombie Apocalypse? Nanomachines? Wave Motion Guns? Ordinary waking up Eldritch Abominations from the Great Beyond? No problem with the power of the Human FIST!!!! And a bit of Science. Basically, Seele's plot involved turning the Human Fist against those innocent Cthulhus out there whose only wish is to Become a Real Boy but cannot speak and thus are automatically Acceptable Targets by the Chewbacca Defense, said punching out Cthulhu is merely a distraction designed to further Seele's real goal, which is actually backstabbing humanity to death in the form of a Yog-Sothoth who will eat humanity's souls once and for all. Which is fitting of an Evil Plan. Of course, that didn't prevent Instrumentality from still being fucked-up, since there is another backstabber by the name of Gendo Ikari. You may also ask, didn't Kaworu said something about him annihilating all of humanity? Yes he did, but since this is Kaworu he might as well be speaking parables, and his destroy all humans assumption is simply a metaphor for Shinji's solipsism and impending willingness to commit suicide. Also, since Kaworu is an agent of Seele rather than an actual Angel, he might be as well an actual Adam who simply made the decision of backstabbing Seele, like Gendo.

  • Actually, the Angels were trying to reunite with Lilith because they wanted to result all life based on her (i.e. humans and other animals). Some wanted to cause Third Impact by uniting with Adam, but he didn't arrive in Tokyo-3 for a while. If SEELE lets either of these things happen, then the Fruit of Knowledge disappears, and their plan for Instrumentality is gone. The union of Adam and Lilith is the Giant Naked Rei in End Of Evangelion.

The real reason why Seele planned the Instrumentality is solely because they are extremely paranoid and fearful about Death / Hell / Gehenna / Tartarus / Underworld / The Afterlife / something like that
Well this would make more sense, since the alternative would be the Angels being nonlethal beings like the above, while this theory sticks to the more canonical "Angel-controlled Instrumentality will annihilate all life" statement, although this still advocates the idea of Seele being omnicidal maniacs. Seele really wanted all of the sinful bastards that are humanity to die, but death is a very uncertain and Despair Event Horizon-inducing thing on which everybody, including them, are very paranoid and fearful about, with the paranoia being even more fortified by the notions of "Hell" and "Eternal Punishment". An Angel-initiated Instrumentality will simply lead to an uncertain death. Human Instrumentality was a way on which they can provide themselves with a very certain death, a death which annihilates the fear of death and Hell through an Assimilation Plot. Hence, the despair of death is overcome, and people who die hopeful and full of spirit die in the eternal bliss of nirvana, instead of being dragged into the dark agonizing eternal damnation vortex that is Despair Event Horizon. Heck, Religion does the same, but it uses the collective hope and spirit of humanity instead of some Applied Phlebotinum.

The entire series takes place during Instrumentality
An alternate take of the above: Shinji is too late arriving at Tokyo-3. In the opening of the first episode, the shockwave that rocks the city is not from explosives, but from Sachiel (who is actually the only Adam-based life that exists in the real world) making psychic contact with and activating Lilith, thus initiating Third Impact. Vaguely supported by the appearance of soul-collecting Rei. Humanity doesn't realize this, and their combined delusion of continuing their lives forces Instrumentality to create an illusory world for all the souls within it. Only objects with a psychic presence (id est, an AT Field and therefore a soul) are given a non-illusory or functional form within this Intrumentality; thus, in this world human weapons are utterly ineffective against the Angels, whilst the Evas, which have souls, easily dispatch them. Shinji slowly goes mad as he realizes that he can See the Code, so to speak; in-series "Instrumentality" occurs when he becomes "the One," takes control of Instrumentality through Rei and Unit 01, and breaks down the illusion for everyone. Both EOTV and EOE are valid endings, with the two conflicting desires in Shinji — to live in the real world he doesn't know, potentially ruined beyond recognition, or to continue life as the god of his own illusory world — causing him to split into two distinct personalities. The personality split may occur after his reappearance on "real" Earth, with Rei appearing once more to collect the unwilling portion and close the metaphorical book.
  • ...and this should be The Matrix nth Renaissance.

An unknown amount of Evangelion takes place during instrumentality
It could start at the first five minutes, it could have been going on since before the start of the series, or possibly it actually occurs during EoE. Either way, Shinji is then stuck in a Groundhog Day situation wherein he is given an unlimited number of tries to accept himself. When he fails, the world Which makes the last broadcast episode the last point possible in the story of Evangelion chronologically (as long as the world isn't perfect/near perfect).

The last two episodes are an examination of what Shinji thinks when he listens to the SDAT tape.
If you look closely, the tape is marked "Program 25 and Program 26". It's made reasonably clear that the tape and its contents are what, essentially keeps him going; without it he has nothing to make him feel better, nothing to rely on. Considering the last two episodes are the characters essentially re-affirming his existence, working as a "Good End" to the series, this makes perfect sense.

The so-called Alternate Universe sequence in episode 26 is real and is the near future of former NERV members.
With the Angels done and the Evangelions now redundant, NERV was disbanded. The interactions in episode 25 allowed Shinji, Rei, Asuka and Misato to better understand each other and come to terms with their quirks — most notably Shinji, who realized that being an Eva pilot is not the only possible future for him. This probably involved some memory wipes to remove the horrid memories that resulted in them growing so messed up in the first place. As for the movie? Naaaah, no thank you, not today! Also, some people come back to life.

The last two episodes and End of Evangelion are all parts of the same ending.
Specifically, they fit in the spot where Rei/Lillith is turning the world into soul-juice. The last two episodes are said to be Instrumentality from Shinji's POV. We see a bit of Instrumentality from Shinji's POV in EoE. The bit in EoE is part before the soul-juicing and part after. Afterward, Shinji has totally changed his view on Instrumentality in apparently not more then an hour. Makes as much sense as any other theory here to fit the last two episodes into that hour.
  • This is not a guess. This is the actual, original plot, according to the script.

Son of a Witch takes place in Instrumentality
(note: horrifically superficial)
  • Elphaba = Yui (by default, unless they both really are the "all according to plan" type)
  • Galinda = (?)
  • Fiyero = Gendo (by default)
  • Liir = Shinji (Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette boy with a dead mom and absent father who is desperate for human connection but is abandoned by virtually everyone while wearing his mother('s cloak))
  • Dorthy = Rei ("disguised" as Asuka - TOW describes the traditionally Action Girlish Dorthy as "boring" and only a love interest because "she's there")
  • Candle = Asuka ("disguised" as Rei, perhaps getting a little revenge?)
  • Trism = Kaworu (only male love interest, only one Liir has a real emotional (and physical) connection with, disappears not long after their meeting and is probably an enemy agent)

After Instrumentality, Pen-Pen becomes a god after feeding upon LCL and fighting the last two living Humans to the death.
Because Pen-Pen is awesome. And Evangelion Is Better With Pen-Pen. And whoever kills the last angel gets All Their Powers Combined. Alternately, Pen-pen already is god, because becoming a god after Instrumentality was retroactive, and Instrumentality had to happen for Pen-Pen to become a god. Which he already was. So it did and he did.

Neon Genesis Evangelion is the distant past. Real Life is in fact an aftermath of Instrumentality that backfired; and the survivors of NERV recorded their experiences but was twisted into legend creating The Bible
Rei, at Instrumentality's climax, announced that everyone who had the heart to be individuals can return back to their original form. Unfortunately (for SEELE), Instrumentality failed, because people can only go together if they had the same ideas and identities. The survivors from NERV, such as Shinji, tried to record their experiences by creating The Bible, and rebuilt civilization, but without SEELE and the Angels, it was a less advanced society. Based on this Wild Mass Guess, Neon Genesis Evangelion happened during The Bible's alleged time of creation, 6000 B.C.
  • This might be the new theory that will connect science and The Bible: in 6000 B.C., Humanity wasn't created, they were just re-created.
  • Now there's one I haven't heard before!

Instrumentality happened not because Shinji united with Rei, but because Gendo GENDOWNED Ritsuko near Adam and Lilith
Yes, since turning everybody into Tang takes a lot of initial force, and doing that near Applied Phlebotinum will result in the end of the world.

Shinji never escaped from Instrumentality
Him ending up with Asuka on the beach was an illusion. After all, Instrumentality is supposed to work and bring happiness to people by giving them exactly what they want.
  • This makes a surprising amount of sense. Yui, at the end of the End of Evangelion, did say that happiness can only be found when Shinji woke up from his dream, after all. The entire franchise can then be summed up as a series of mental time loops done by Shinji in order to find the way toward future/escape the dreams. The end of the TV series is the actual "ending", in which we can clearly see that Shinji was still stuck on the Black Moon when he seemingly received the applause of everyone else, as in, when he seemed to have gotten his wish granted. However, as the End of Evangelion indicated, he was still unhappy with the ending, and his true wish was still not granted. The Adamand Eve Plot he found himself in with the broken doll version of Asuka still failed to satisfied him (Asuka's "Kimochi warui" - bad emotion and the strangling indicated that this "Adam" and "Eve"'s destructive relationship was still destructive, making them completely incompatible to each other and to the roles assigned, probably because they were, in essence, both Eves (Lilins), or at least, Lilith (Asuka, a Lilin - child of Lilith) and Eve (Shinji, because he was Rei/Yui's successor and the core of the whole Instrumentality process, probably inheriting Lilith's seed of Knowledge as a side effect), and because Kaworu, who was the only person who Shinji/Rei/Lilith/Eve accepted as Adam, was pretty much dead at the time), even though that was what he thought he wished for at the end of the TV series. Thus, Shinji inadvertently kicked start the first loop by wishing for something else, his other half, perhaps. If we see Instrumentality as a single mother's pregnancy (Rei's rejection of Gendo, preventing him from becoming the new Adam, the part of the original Adam inside Instrumentality was just the minimum contribution of an embryo), then his rejection of Instrumentality can be seen as an abortion because he refused to be a single mother/the new progenitor (probably Eve) to the neo-humans/the future without Adam, just as Gendo rejected Shinji himself - Gendo's and Yui's own child, the symbol of the future, in favour of yearning after his seemingly dead wife Yui - the past. If the lyrics of A cruel angel's thesis is intentional, then the key to the future would be for Shinji to "spread his wings"/accept his responsibility as the new progenitor, which didn't happen in Eo E because that Shinji wished for the world to return to the Crapsack World it had been instead of rebuilding it into something better. This theory would also explain why Kaworu was the only character aside from Shinji to have change personality in every incarnation: he was Adam, so he was not a part of Lilith's Black Moon - the egg in which humanity is dreaming. While we definitely weren't and probably aren't going to be shown every loop ever, we can attempt to arrange the known loops in the franchise in chronological order: TV series => End of Evangelion => manga => Rebuild, or, alternatively, TV series => End of Evangelion => Rebuild => manga. Jury's still out on which order is the correct one. Backed by the loss of the SDAT player at the end of 3.0 - which had been unsubtly hinted to be Shinji's only emotional crutch after Kaworu's death and his only reason to keep going/looping, the former would probably be the happier one, if only because of Kaworu's little promise at the end of 3.0, Asuka's improved mental state and her not letting Shinji escaping to his own reality again. The latter is most definitely the more likely (Kaworu's whole process of falling in love (TV series) to gaining determination (Rebuild) to giving into despair (manga), the "beginning is the same as the end" quote, alluding that both the TV series and the manga have the name of Neon Genesis Evangelion, Shinji had an ipod - something from the future, instead of his old SDAT because the SDAT was lost in the previous loop, the repeat sign in the title of 3.0 + 1.0) the more bittersweet: even though Shinji himself seemed to have kept his memory intact this time and promised to proceed toward a forever extending future after boarding another train - a metaphor for another loop, Kaworu seemed to have given up on a happy ending for good, meaning that the end of the particular loop we had been shown in Rebuild must be spectacularly bad even in comparison to all the other bad ends. If that's the case, then hopefully, now that Shinji has gained the key - his past memories and the courage to face the past, the final loop won't be too disastrous and will reach a happy ending for all involved somehow. Or, even better, the repeat sign is actually an end sign, and we will finally be shown what the fuck actually happened in this franchise.

There was a happy ending for Shinji, and everyone else.
Instrumentality hadn't ended after the death of the Lillith/Adam/Rei/Yui Angel, as the world hadn't returned to its original state. Therefore, the collective minds and souls were still combined. When Asuka said that Shinji was "disgusting", this leads to her mental harassment towards Shinji in Episode 26. During the "Congratulations!" sequence, the world is returning to normal, with Shinji's conflicted mind is at peace.
  • If Rebuild of Evangelion is a sequel, then everyone returned to their states prior to Instrumentality. Due to the nature of Instrumentality giving you what you want, some people have happier memories in their lives, and are much more mentally stable than they were prior to it.

The Human Instrumentality Project is actually an attempt to finalize The Ultimate Question To Life The Universe And Everything
Well, if the Ultimate Question and Ultimate Answer are to ever reunite, something weird has to happen. It resembles the Instrumentality a lot: combine ultimate beings together, and a massive Mind Screw happened. Here's how it happened: The race of super-intelligent pan-dimensional beings called the First Ancestral Race already found out the Ultimate Answer, and it was 42. However, the problem is that the Ultimate Question cannot be found, and it needs an even more powerful computer to calculate the Ultimate Question. That computer was Earth. Angels and Humans were once part of Earth's computational matrix which was meant to calculate the Ultimate Question. However, instead of Earth being destroyed by Vogons, this Earth was set in an alternate history where the Seele council works for the First Ancestral Race, and Second Impact was deliberately initiated by them to activate the Earth supercomputer. Also, the reason why There Are No Therapists in the Eva-verse is because everyone knows the Ultimate Answer is 42, and Seele told humanity that the Ultimate Question was going to be found, and so therapists will be rendered unnecessary. However, Gendo and Yui tried to ruin the whole Instrumentality plan using Shinji and Rei so that humans would never find out their meaning in life, and when they never find out the absolute meaning in life, they will have the freedom to live. By the way, how many S2 Engines / Fruits of Life are there in the Universe? 42.

The Instrumentality is where Angels and Humans exchange places
The Angels, being the perfect, immortal beings with super-strong AT Fields, suffer from extreme loneliness and lack of civilization, therefore envying humans and striving to become them, while humanity, on the other hand, being an imperfect species who suffer from Hedgehog's Dilemma, envy the Angels and long to become them. Wait, does this means angels and humans envy each other? There was Armisael talking to Rei about his/her loneliness. There was Kaworu admiring Lilin civilization and the Ode To Joy. What happened, then? There are two explanations. One is that Seele in fact made a deal with the Angels to propose the Instrumentality, where in a ritualized battle, they can exchange places. First, perform euthanasia on the Angels while the angels try to battle because their instincts kept them, or because they battle to try out if being Human is really worth it. Second, combine Adam and Lilith so that the Chamber of Guf is reopened. Third, Kill All Humans. Fourth, gather all souls into the Chamber of Guf, where there will be no more segregation between Humans and Angels. Last, make the Humans and Angels choose their own form, Gendo and Seele might choose a new Angelic form, Kaworu might choose a new Human form, but others can still retain their original form, such as Shinji. Another explanation is that the Angels are trying to become humans, but Seele won't let them because this is their one-shot chance at getting themselves into Angels and the Angels taking control of the Instrumentality will mean more humans.

The Instrumentality is Anno's interpretation of a scenario where NGE and Real Life exchange places.
It was stated in a previous theory that people with interesting, war-torn lives long for peaceful, boring lives, and people with peaceful, boring lives long for interesting, war-torn lives. Also, it is well known that NGE is Hideaki Anno's Take That! against Otaku. Apparently, Hideaki Anno witnessed the phenomenon that is Otaku, who long to escape Real Life boredom by escaping into the realm of Anime, but because of the laws of physics, otaku cannot escape to Anime, yet they cannot realize that Anime life is chaos-ridden life. As a result, Anno created the whole Instrumentality idea for either the interpretation of the people from anime longing for Real Life in exchange for Real Life humans longing for anime life. (explaining the school scene from Episode 26 and Angelic Days, and the live-action scene at EOE), or, it was Anno's Take That! against the entire idea, with the angels representing Real Life Humans (Why is their progenitor called Adam anyway?)

Instrumentality, which is Eva's own cake, is a lie. It was just Shinji's psychotherapy session.
  • Why would the writers outright lie to us? Kaworu's explanation is consistent with the plot and themes of the show.

The episodes 25 and 26 and End of Evangelion actually happened because Shinji divided by zero.
After the death of Kaworu, Shinji get very depressed and angry with everyone, then, in all that rage he din't care about that we can't divide by zero and he ended up doing it. And he didn't do a normal division by zero... , HE DIVIDE ZERO BY ZERO!!!!. After all that mindscrewing apocalypse Class 5, the world actually resets itself now with 40% less angst and 100% more badass.

The Instrumentality Sequence in Eo E is a reference to the Rapture
The concept of Instrumentality in general too. Y'know, just to add more symbolism.
  • Basically, yeah. See above entries about Instrumentality being symbolic of Nirvana, Heaven, etc.

I mean, come on, just tell me those lyrics don't sound like they're about instrumentality: Full song here:

The First Ancestral Race are the aliens who preceded/created the universe in the Stargate-verse and the Destiny's mission has some relation to Instrumentality
(Sorry, I just happen to love Stargate and Evangelion, so I had to do something like this.) Think about it... Most of the other aliens they have encountered in Stargate (with the exception of the Wraith and the Jaffa, who are basically derived from humans, and the Goa'uld, who may be ralted in some way to one of the other angels) are vaguely humanoid due to being spawned from Black or White Moons that were placed on other worlds. Being descended from Adam or Lilith copies, this makes some sense. And, of course, ascension is basically a superior version of Instrumentality. Or Instrumentality is a (premature and somewhat flawed) attempt at ascension. Whichever you prefer. And, as I mentioned earlier, Destiny's mission (the stuff about cosmic background radiation) is related to the First Ancestral Race, who are the same beings who created "Eden" and brought back Caine and the others left behind. They lack the ability to bring back souls, however. To be honest, though, I mostly just like the idea of a Stargate Verse/Evangelion crossover. What can I say?

How and Why instrumentality failed.
This theory goes as follows; instrumentality failed because not all conciousnesses were combined. In his hatred for Gendo, Shinji prevented Gendo from joining instrumentality. Without Gendo something was missing from instrumentality. This is why instrumentality did not 'feel right' to Shinji resulting in him reversing the process.

Seele is a group of Well-Intentioned Extremist cranked Up to Eleven who just wants to "save" the humanity from all its flaws and suffering.

Well, Human Instrumentality Project is basically getting rid of AT field and merging all souls of humans into one so that one human's weakness is complemented by other's strengths. As a result, the humans as a whole become a god, no longer subject to loneliness and suffering and all those nasty stuffs. Humans have massive, fundamental issues, so we may need a drastic measure of apocalypse for such a drastic problem.

Or, Human Instrumentality Project would only produce mindless drones/neurons/body parts subject to one Hive Queen or something similar.

AKA my first impression of Human Instrumentality Project. Either Keel is out to enslave the souls of every human being, or Human Instrumentality Project is doomed to failure (either Gone Horribly Wrong or Gone Horribly Right) to begin with.

Care Bears are an someone's Instrumentality dream.
Fuyutsuki or Gendo or Lorenz is the horse Noble Heart while the bear True Heart is Yui. No Heart is Gendo and Shrieky is either Rei or Asuka or Misato or Ritsuko while Beastly is either a negative aspect of Fuyutsuki or Keel Lorenz or Kaji, more likely the combination where the woman rejects her man the way Shrieky rejects Beastly. This makes Professor Cold Heart Keel Lorenz or Gendo and Auntie Freeze is Naoko Akagi or Yui. Dark Heart is Asuka and or Kaworu while the 'camp champ' Christy is Shinji, who gets blasted by Dark Heart in a role reversal of Shinji killing Kaworu or choking Asuka. The Great Wishing Star is probably Adam or some other kind of Angel. Nicholas Cherrywood is Gendo or Fuyutsuki while the evil spirit inside a book is Yui.The rest of the Care Bears and Cousins are Angels and Cozy Heart Penguin is most obviously Pen-Pen.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica takes place after Instrumentality.
Humanity returned to form from the Tang and rebuilt its society...however, their capacity for arrogance, pride, bastardry and schadenfreude remained, creating Madoka's cruel world where idealism and belief in man's better nature only ever comes at a horrible cost.
  • The Incubators may actually be manifestations of humanity's collective opportunism. And then in most of the timelines we saw, Madoka's Witch form planned to basically start Instrumentality again, much like God's intention to destroy the world for its sins again in Revelations.
  • Madoka is "descended" from Rei; aside from gaining godlike powers and almost starting the "Fourth Impact", she shares Rei's complete lack of self-worth and eventual willingness to sacrifice herself.

The Giant Naked Rei has the ability to transcend time. And when it sent avatars of itself to collect the souls of every human on earth for Instrumentality, it collected every single human being who ever lived, past and present.
This is why the Rei avatars appeared to Misato and Ritsuko when they both died, even though the GNR hadn't even been formed yet. This is also why a Rei avatar appeared to Shinji at the beginning (before the GNR had formed) and end of the series (after the GNR had died.) The Rei avatars can travel through time. Their job: to collect ALL human souls, past and present. This would fit in with the concept of the Last Judgement,—being the moment when ALL souls are brought together. This has startling implications. If every human who had ever lived had been absorbed into the Sea of LCL covering earth at the end of Eo E, then it's possible that people who have been dead for centuries could reform themselves and walk out of it, as living people. So Abe Lincoln, Jane Austen, everyone who has a mind to, could conceivably walk the earth again. It's also possible that....

Every person who chooses to reform themselves and walks out of Instrumentality at the end of Eo E, is functionally immortal from that moment on.
One would at least hope so, since there are no longer any plants or animals around for the newly formed humans to eat (apart from the bloody chunks of the Giant Naked Rei. The world at the end of the series could be a "Heaven" of sorts, with the newly immortal population sitting around keeping each other company for eternity. (Of course, that could equally be considered a Hell by cynics, although one would imagine such people would choose to remain in the illusory pleasures of Instrumentality.)
  • The immortality can also be due to said humans acquiring S2 Engines from the dead/instrumentalized Angels, Evangelions and Giant Naked Rei. That said, the immortals can be considered gods of sorts, having both the Fruit of Life (S2 Engine) and the Fruit of knowledge (Human Brain).

It is implied (and stated in certain continuities) that Keel Lorenz is Cain, cursed by God to wander the Earth until Judgement Day. Wandering for centuries in an elderly body that cannot die is not something Keel wants. He knows that he can't die until Armageddon, so what's his solution? Hijack Genesis and slay the Angels to cause Armageddon right now. Interpreting Revelations as an Assimilation Plot (all would become one with God), he would finally end his misery. All the other possible explanations for whatever they were trying to do were the other members' motivations.

The Instrumentality is a metaphor for Euthanasia
It's obvious.

The Instrumentality is a metaphor for Nirvana
It's also obvious.
  • It's a metaphor for the general concept of "heaven" held by almost all religions. Yeah, this is about 99.9% confirmed.

Everything but the first five minutes and the last five minutes is a delusion caused by Instrumentality.
At the end of End of Evangelion, a vision of Rei appears before every person on Earth. She performs some symbolic action that helps them come to terms with Instrumentality, and then their body reverts to LCL. Rewind to the first episode. Shinji has been summoned to a rendezvous in a deserted town. Suddenly he sees Rei standing near him... bear in mind, Shinji has never met Rei before and should have no idea what she looks like. Just as suddenly and inexplicably, Rei vanishes. Then giant aliens, fighter planes, fast cars, dangerous women, and all the other paraphernalia of Eva-as-we-know-it come crashing into frame. Everything that happens from them on is a delusion created by the collective consciousness to psychologically wear him down to the point of accepting Instrumentality. It takes them a lot longer than the other cases shown (26 episodes, versus a few seconds on average), but even the other characters had to admit that Shinji was an expert at rejecting people.
  • This theory is supported by Shinji wearing a watch in the beginning; as soon as Misato picks him up, it disappears, never to show up again. It could be explained as a simple continuity error, but in the remake Rebuild of Evangelion, it happens again!
    • But Misato picks him up after he sees Rei. She must be a messenger of Instrumentality, too.
      • If the watch disappears, time disappears. All Evangelion takes place in Shinji's head in the same split second as Instrumentality takes place in everyone else's head, which could presumably contain equally crazy events.
    • A lot of 1.0, especially the beginning, was made directly from the TV series frame-for-frame.

Instrumentality failed miserably.
Somebody in NERV, I don't know, Misato or somebody, took control of the process from Gendo and initiated Instrumentality, only giving everybody a free choice involving introspection of the sort that Shinji had. Knowing exactly what Instrumentaliy would entail, the entire planet rejected it. EoE is an Elseworld, like Angelic Days or the Shinji Ikari Raising Project. Remember the "goodbye my mother" title card. Shinji did reject Instrumentality in End of TV. Otherwise there was no need for him to say that.
  • Alternately, Instrumentality was designed to fail. Somebody, somewhere, wanted to force humanity to realize that self-determination was the way to go by showing the human race the alternative.
  • That's funny because I actually used this idea in a fanfic (not for Evangelion, but it was sort of my take on the TV ending). An Ancient Conspiracy tried to initiate an Instrumentality-like mind fusion, only to fail when the entire world rejected it unanimously.
  • Instumentality did canonically fail miserably, albeit not in the way described here.

Third Impact was, for the most part, reversed.
Yui said that anybody with the proper sense of themselves could come back. Well, as it turns out, that's most people on Earth, though probably not Rei, Gendo and the SEELE Dudes. For all we know, Misato and Pen Pen could be just a few miles across the LCL Bay from Shinji and Asuka by the end of the movie.
  • This one's true (or about as true as anything can be in the ambiguous world of Evangelion). Not only are there hints dropped everywhere, it would not make sense thematically if this were not true.
  • Well, I still wouldn't want to be the guy who had to clean up all that leftover LCL. Or explain all of the new junk that had suddenly entered orbit.
  • I like that idea. I just think it's funny that the ending is so sad, that they're the last people left in the world... only they're not. For some reason, I can't stop thinking of Eddie Izzard involved in some way; "Er...hello? Yes, ah, mind the gap, it's full of LCL..."

Instrumentality never happened. Ever since Kaworu's death, Shinji Ikari actually committed suicide
The incident on Terminal Dogma, where Shinji was forced to kill Kaworu, broke Shinji so much that he actually tried to commit suicide. The Instrumentality thing was just a Dying Dream: a hallucination that appears during death, As Shinji progressed to die, his twisted mentality is revealed in front of him, a delusion of destroying all of humankind under the pretense of oneness. His petty wishes like Asuka were also revealed. Yup, there were no actual Giant naked Reis, no fapping to Asuka, none of that. After Shinji committed suicide, the Real Instrumentality involved Seele giving free psychotherapies to the global population such as the Nerv staff, and Gendo Ikari successfully creating an actual Yui clone with Yui's s soul. What about Rebuild Of Evangelion? Let's just say Shinji was reincarnated and got a chance to be happy in an Alternate Universe.
  • Or, alternatively, he started Instrumentality as a Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum right after Kaworu's death. Then, unsatisfied with even that, he started the whole "Groundhog Day" Loop and dragged the whole world with him to find the best ending. Only, he kept erasing his own memories because he didn't want to remember all the hurts and face the past. And every spin-off ever, End of Evangelion and the last two episodes included, is just part of the loop.

Every supplied and theorized motive for SEELE is true.
SEELE is composed of multiple members, so who's to say they all have the same motive? The members of SEELE have different reasons to cause Instrumentality, but all can agree on the same result: the reduction of all life into a single collective consciousness. The sole exception to this is Gendo Ikari, who doesn't give a shit about their posturing and just wants to see Yui again.

Leaving Instrumentality is part of SEELE's plan.
Like SEELE wouldn't see that coming. They allowed for people to leave the ocean of LCL. But why? The conjoined mind wasn't the end goal. SEELE wished for humanity to use this opportunity to "cleanse" humanity. In that hive mind, those who deep down suffered from Hedgehog's Dilemna would stay as a hive mind, weeded out. Those strong enough to be removed of humanity's flaws would emerge, starting a new utopian species free of social pain.

Instrumentality converts all life for a reason.
As noted in the Fridge Horror, without a conscious decision you cannot leave the ocean of LCL. Most animals wouldn't fit in this category, along with all other life except humanity. As such, the resurfaced ecosystem would find it impossible to sustain itself. So either you stay in the Tang without individuality, or die with it.
  • In the manga, the ecosystem went back just fine though.

There is no motive for SEELE.
They're all just a bunch of one-dimensional ciphers that exist for justifying the plot and the existence of Instrumentality. The focus is on NERV, the Angels and deconstructing mecha anime, SEELE isn't important.

On why to kill the angels before the instrumentality.
If instrumentality was triggered before all angels were dead, and it was possible as showed in the Eo E, they would be part or the LCL too, and no ones know what effects humanity would have, so they decided to wait until the last angel was dead.

On why Ritsuko and Misato were Tangified.
The reason why we see shots of Misato and Ritsuko's dead bodies reduced to LCL is because Rei used her newfound abilities to dissolve their A.T. fields, and you may ask why to that as well. To uphold Shinji's wish, Rei briefly brought Misato and Ritsuko's souls back into their bodies during the opening of the Doors of Guf, in order to dissolve their A.T. fields. Because of this, both Ritsuko and Misato would theoretically be able to return from Instrumentality. It is possible Rei might have restored Kaji as well.

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